It would seem entirely at odds with Congress’ self-interest to not enforce the War Powers Act, which itself constitutes an abdication of some of its authority under the Constitution. But that doesn’t seem to be what’s playing out now that the 60 day deadline for authorization has passed on the Libya intervention.
Sen. Dick Lugar (Ind.), senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, warned earlier in the month, however, that such a resolution would likely be shot down in the Senate.
Others, including Levin, simply think that formal congressional authorization for the Libyan intervention is unnecessary. Still, he left open the possibility that the upper chamber could eventually act on a Libya resolution — if “a number of legal questions” are ironed out. — The Hill
What does it say that the first branch of government is so ideologically and politically colored that it is unwilling to preserve a modicum of the power prescribed to it by our nation’s progenitors?
I say ideologically because endless Wilsonian interventionism seems to have become the philosophical norm for both parties.
I say politically because Democrats are nominally opposed to intervention, as are their constituents, and thus fear risking the dual hit to 1) their coordination with the White House and 2) to their popularity among the voting public by taking a vote on this issue, thus revealing the disparity between their stated and revealed preferences.
It’s even more damning because Congress is establishing a precedent for future willful ignorance by the administration and future inaction by future Congresses, turning an act that already dilutes a crucial Congressional power into a mere sentiment of proper decorum between the executive and legislative branch — a requested due diligence that can easily be overlooked if political expediency and/or ideological commitment deem it inconvenient.
This is everything you didn’t learn in civics class.